The Elements of Style
by W. Strunk, Jr., my favorite book.
My blog on
it is not regularly bolgged.
I like Canadian by Erinest Miller Hemingway, read it
- As I read the article "How to do research at the MIT AI Lab" written by a
bunch of MIT students, I found that the most useful and helpful part is
section 12 "Emotional factors". As it says, the most important
issue in doing research is to overcome the emotional failure and to recognize
your personal success. Here is something from the article:
"A recent survey of a group of Noble Laureates in science asked about the issue
of self-doubt: had it been clear all along to these scientists that their work
was earth-shattering? The unanimous response (out of something like 50
people) was that these people were constantly doubting the value, or
correctness, of their work, and they went through periods of feeling that what
they were doing was IRRELEVANT, OBVIOUS, or WRONG. A common and important part of
any scientific progress is constant critical evaluation, and is some amount
of UNCERTAINTY over the value of the work is an inevitable part of the PROGRESS."
What is the real value of studying in computer science? An article of NYT on
Aug. 23, 2005, "A Techie, Absolutely, and More", referring to Prof. Lazowska of
University of Washington says, it is less in acquiring a skill with technology
tools - the usual definition of computer literacy - than in teaching students
to manage complexity; to navigate and assess information; to master modeling
and abstraction; and to think analytically in terms of algorithms, or
- Seven liberal arts: geometry, arithmetic, rhetoric, logic,
grammar, music, and astronomy. The four cardinal virtues - fortitude,
prudence, temperance, and justice.
What are numbers anyway? Are they a mere human construct or do they have some
kind of objective existence? Was 1+1=2 true before there were people on the
planet to assert it? Of course, these are glory of Creator. These issues have
been debated centuries. The doctrine that abstract objects (like number and
sets of numbers) have an objective existence with properties that people can
only discover, not invent, is generally ascribed to Plato and, therefore, is
called Platonism. Godel was adherent to this doctrine.
Inaccuracy, ambiguity, and diffuseness are the intrinsic nature of human
languages. Machinery employing logic symbolism inherently excludes uncertainty.
That's why these names, Gottlob Frege, Kurt Gödel, Alfred North Whitehead,
Ludwig Wittgenstein, Bertrand Russell are so bright in representing human
thought in symbolic structures. In the words of Bertrand Russell, "Because language is misleading,
as well as because it is diffuse and inexact when applied to logic (for which
it was never intended), logical symbolism is absolutely necessary to any exact
or thorough treatment of mathematical philosophy." However, Gödel's
incompleteness makes us to be lost in the jungle of Turing Machines, we are
now in the middle of nowhere in speaking of 'computation'. The ill-fated AI
has not been able to reconcile itself with the lugubrious outcome. Are we
envisioning another Tower of Babel by the Semantic Web?
Gregory J Chaitin. Computers, paradoxes and the foundations of
mathematics. American Scientist.
- "There is little wonder why the systems we have been implementing for the
last 50 years (i.e., the entire history of data processing) are so inflexible,
unadaptable, misaligned, disintegrated, unresponsive, expensive, unmaintainable,
and frustrating to management. We never bothered to produce an accurate
conceptual model! If you don't rigorously describe an enterprise to begin with,
why would anybody expect to be able to produce a relevant design and
implementation that reflected the enterprise's reality or intent, or could be
adapted over time to accommodate its changes?"
- On the torturing, lonely journey you may find there are two places to rest,
at least you can breathe a breath of relief or it seems two milestones you
have to reach before the whole journey is finished:
a proposal of dynamic layer cake for
data communication and correspondence of continuum for data semantics;
the other is taking the articulation of ontologies into consideration to
find a way for multiple data sets interoperation.
- Schemata and correspondences management using Telos, do you think the
implementation of Telos, ConceptBase?
The well-known seemingly trivial example for illustrating the problem that
when we need to connect heterogeneous autonomous systems with the purpose of
interoperation, that propositions which well-behaved locally, i.e., within one
system or system component, need not be static nor even consistent on a global
system level: Schoenmaker's Conundrum, "A problem in knowledge acquisition,"
ACM SIGART Newsletters #95(1986). In which one witness only tells the judge
"p" but keeps to himself that "not q", while a second witness independently only
tells the judge "if p then q" but also keeps to herself that "not q". Each
witness is consistent, but the judge is able to derive "q", supposedly thereby
hanging a hapless victim.
To develop more detail about the correspondence between representation and the
subject matter, let us suppose that the representation is the familiar decimal
place-value notation. In this notation there are ten digit symbols, "0,","1,"
... "9," which represent the numbers 0 through 9. Notice that we distinguish
here between symbols, such as "5," which are part of the representation, and
numbers, such as 5, which are being represented, by placing quotation marks
around the symbols. The distinction can be brought out more clearly by recalling
the Roman notation system, in which "V" is the symbol for 5, there is no single
digit symbol for the number 2, there is a single digit symbol for the number 50,
namely, "L," and so on. In decimal notation numbers larger that 9 are
represented by concatenating the digit symbols into strings, such as "65,"
which is a string of
length 2 with "5" in the first position and "6" in the second position. The
assignment of a number to a symbolic string is determined systematically by the
decimal place-value function, in which the contribution of each digit symbol
to the assignment is determined jointly by its basic assignment and its position
in the string. For example, knowing that the basic assignments of "6" and "5"
are 6 and 5 and knowing the place-value function, one can determine that the
assignment of "65" is 6x101 + 5x100, which equals 60+5, or
65. The decimal place-value function establishes a one-to-one correspondence, or
mapping, between digit strings and numbers. Note that although the Roman system
also uses strings of digit symbols to represent numbers, the mapping between
strings and numbers cannot be defined as a place-value function.
A common attitude toward philosophy is that philosophers never answer question,
but merely pose them. Scientists, in contrast, are in the business of delivering
answers. Questions the answers to which elude science, questions that seem
scientifically unanswerable, are often dismissed as "merely philosophical."
Where philosophy is concerned, there are no settled truths: every opinion is
as good as any other.
The principle of charity = When analysing and evaluating any argument, assume
that the arguer intends to present the most convincing argument possible,
while still ensuring that your interpretation of the argument agrees with the
One of the usefulnesses the Semantic Web would provide is the accurate query
ability in contrast to the keyword query used in today's Web such as Google
search. It is doubtful that people will prefer an accurately meaningful query
to the keyword query over Web. It should be a research topic for sociologists
to do some in-depth studies to know whether the Semantic Web will be viable.